From Library Journal
Contemporary mainstream radio offers very little diversity; play lists are chosen in corporate offices, and stations across the country sound very similar. An associate editor for Reason magazine, Walker argues that government collusion with big business for decades is responsible for reducing variety and eliminating dissident voices in radio broadcasting. Opening his history of alternative radio with the amateur operators in the early 1900s, he shows that as soon as the first regulations were passed in the Radio Act of 1912, pirate stations began defying the rules. Walker de0ions that pushed the limits of radio broadcasting (both legally and illegally), documents the history of the Pacifica Foundation and the community radio movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and ends with some open questions about the future of micro radio and the potential of the Internet. The use of interviews and anecdotes brings life to this history. Both academics and radio enthusiasts will appreciate this book. Judy Solberg, George Washington Univ. Lib., Washington, DC
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Rebels on the Air is a joyous, smart, lucid, hilarious, critical and engaging celebration of community based, non-commercial radio in the United States. Jesse Walker vividly captures the people, their visions and achievements, their friends and enemiesall in a book that is great fun to read."
-Matthew Lasar,author of Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network
"Throughout Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America, Walker surveys the current state of radio and finds it wanting."
"Present-day American radio—both public and commercial—has, with its blandness, hidden the bodies of hundreds of idealists who tried to make it meaningful and interesting and alive. Whether it's micro radio, pirate radio, the Citizens Band, or Pacifica, Jesse Walker has done his homework, digging up often funny tales of strange characters who tried, in one way or another, to better the airwaves."
-Lorenzo W. Milam,author of Sex and Broadcasting and the Radio Papers
"The book is a great addition to the literature of the ways in which the state uses regulatory edicts and strong-arm tactics to stifle people's freedom."
-George C. Leef,Freedom Daily
"Without a doubt, this is the most detailed and well-researched book ever published on the history of free radio in America. This includes the most comprehensive history ever written on the modern microradio movement; culled from personal interviews, the writing is mostly engaging and fast-paced...A must read."
-The About Guide